United States International Trade Commision Rulings And Harmonized Tariff Schedule
faqs.org  Rulings By Number  Rulings By Category  Tariff Numbers
faqs.org > Rulings and Tariffs Home > Rulings By Number > 1998 HQ Rulings > HQ 961087 - HQ 961242 > HQ 961183

Previous Ruling Next Ruling
HQ 961183

February 11, 1998
CLA-2 RR:TC:TE 961183 jb


TARIFF NO.: 6307.90.9989

Barry E. Powell, Esq.
Grunfeld, Desiderio, Lebowitz & Silverman, LLP 707 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 5555
Los Angeles, CA 90017

RE: Classification and country of origin determination for unfinished binder cover: 19 CFR ?102.21(c)(2); tariff shift

Dear Mr. Powell:

This is in reply to your letter dated September 19, 1997, on behalf of your client Pen-Tab Industries, requesting a country of origin determination for an unfinished binder cover. A sample was submitted to this office for examination.


The submitted merchandise, referenced style "Reflex", measures approximately 12 inches by 11 inches and 2.5 inches thick, and consists of a binder cover composed of 100 percent nylon plain woven fabric. It features an inside zippered pocket for holding miscellaneous items, a pocket for a calculator, and pockets for pens and pencils. The inside of the cover also features two vertical pockets designed to hold a plastic binder with accompanying three metal ring mechanism. The outside of the binder cover features an open work knit mesh fabric which has been completely encased in plastic; this plastic mesh has been sewn over one side of the outside of the binder cover, creating a pocket.

The manufacturing operations are as follows:

Taiwan nylon fabric is formed plastic mesh is formed

China cutting, sewing and finishing operations three-ring mechanism is sourced

United States binder is sourced three ring mechanism is mounted to binder binder is inserted into textile cover

You state that "incidental items" such as the paper insert and zipper may be sourced either in Taiwan or China.


1. What is the country of origin of the submitted merchandise?

2. What is the appropriate marking for the subject merchandise?



Classification of merchandise under the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States Annotated (HTSUSA) is in accordance with the General Rules of Interpretation. GRI 1 requires that classification be determined according to the terms of the headings and any relative section or chapter notes. Where goods cannot be classified solely on the basis of GRI 1, the remaining GRI will be applied, in the order of their appearance.

The imported binder cover is composed of both plastic and textile materials. General Rule of Interpretation 3 states:

(b) Mixtures, composite goods consisting of different materials or made up of different components, and goods put up in sets for retail sale, which cannot be classified by reference to 3(a) shall be classified as if they consisted of the material or component which gives them their essential character, insofar as this criterion is applicable.

Although no breakdown of the relative values have been provided concerning the textile portion and the plastic portion of the subject binder cover, given the fact that the textile fabric covers a predominate portion of the binder cover including the exterior portion, and the textile portion provides the visual appeal of the binder cover, it is Customs opinion that the essential character of the binder cover is imparted by the textile part of the binder. Furthermore, we note that while the textile woven fabric forms the main body of the binder cover, as well as all of the interior pockets, the plastic portion is merely an overlay on one side of the outer cover, creating a single pocket. Consequently, the subject binder cover is classifiable based on its textile fabric component and is classifiable under Heading 6307, HTSUSA. The binder cover is specifically classifiable in subheading 6307.90.9989.

Country of origin

On December 8, 1994, the President signed into law the Uruguay Round Agreements Act. Section 334 of that Act (codified at 19 U.S.C. 3592) provides new rules of origin for textiles and apparel entered, or withdrawn from warehouse, for consumption, on and after July 1, 1996. On September 5, 1995, Customs published Section 102.21, Customs Regulations, in the Federal Register, implementing Section 334 (60 FR 46188). Thus, effective July 1, 1996, the country of origin of a textile or apparel product shall be determined by sequential application of the general rules set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) through (5) of Section 102.21.

Paragraph (c)(1) states that "The country of origin of a textile or apparel product is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which the good was wholly obtained or produced." As the subject merchandise is not wholly obtained or produced in a single country, territory or insular possession, paragraph (c)(1) of Section 102.21 is inapplicable.

Paragraph (c)(2) states that "Where the country of origin of a textile or apparel product cannot be determined under paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the country of origin of the good is the single country, territory, or insular possession in which each foreign material incorporated in that good underwent an applicable change in tariff classification, and/or met any other requirement, specified for the good in paragraph (e) of this section".

Paragraph (e) states that "The following rules shall apply for purposes of determining the country of origin of a textile or apparel product under paragraph (c)(2) of this section":

6307.90 The country of origin of a good classifiable under subheading 6307.90 is the country, territory, or insular possession in which the fabric comprising the good was formed by a fabric-making process.

The subject merchandise is classifiable in subheading 6307.90, HTSUS. As the fabric comprising this merchandise is formed in a single country, Taiwan, as per the terms of section 102.21(c)(2), the country of origin of the subject binder cover is Taiwan.

You ask in your letter whether the following proposed markings are consistent with the origin rules set forth in section 102.21, Customs Regulations, and with the country of origin marking requirements in Part 134, Customs Regulations: "Made in Taiwan, Assembled in China", "Fabric Made in Taiwan, Finished in China", "Fabric Made in Taiwan, Cover Finished in China", and "Fabric Made in Taiwan, Manufactured in China". The above proposed markings are not consistent with the origin rules set forth in section 102.21, Customs Regulations, nor with the country of origin marking requirements in Part 134, Customs Regulations. An acceptable marking for these products is "Made in Taiwan", "Taiwan", "Product of Taiwan", or "Made in Taiwan, Finished in China".


The subject merchandise, referenced style "Reflex"is classified in subheading 6307.90.9989, which provides for other made up articles, including dress patterns: other: other: other: other: other: other. The applicable rate of duty is 7 percent ad valorem.

The country of origin of the subject merchandise is Taiwan.

An acceptable marking for these products is "Made in Taiwan", "Taiwan", "Product of Taiwan", or "Made in Taiwan, Finished in China".

Due to the changeable nature of the statistical annotation (the ninth and tenth digits of the classification) and the restraint (quota/visa) categories, your client should contact the local Customs office prior to importing the merchandise to determine the current status of any import restraints or requirements.

The holding set forth above applies only to the specific factual situation and merchandise identified in the ruling request. This position is clearly set forth in section 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1). This section states that a ruling letter is issued on the assumption that all of the information furnished in the ruling letter, either directly, by reference, or by implication, is accurate and complete in every material respect.

Should it be subsequently determined that the information furnished is not complete and does not comply with 19 CFR 177.9(b)(1), the ruling will be subject to modification or revocation. In the event there is a change in the facts previously furnished, this may affect the determination of country of origin. Accordingly, if there is any change in the facts submitted to Customs, it is recommended that a new ruling request be submitted in accordance with 19 CFR 177.2.


John Durant, Director
Commercial Rulings Division

Previous Ruling Next Ruling

See also: